I want to say up front that I don't truly believe in paradise. At least, I don't believe in it as a realistic destination in my lifetime. But Richard Dana of Kearsarge Glass Works and Museum in Calumet Township (shown here working a mass of recycled glass into a stunning vase right before our eyes) welcomed us to it, so I guess we have arrived without even trying. If this is paradise, it's the kind that might make me a believer--it works you hard and let's you take nothing for granted.
Twenty years ago Richard taught himself the craft of glass blowing and has been honing his skills every summer since. He works with the most difficult medium a glass blower could choose--and the cheapest--bottle glass that he recycles. The workshop and small, perfect museum (like stepping back to the turn of the 20th century) he made himself.
And roughly twenty years ago I began learning the art and craft of making books. With only temporary (and usually misguided) interruptions to earn a living in more "rational" ways, I've been honing my skills ever since. Lucky people have the time and money to let them fulfill their dreams in any chosen direction. But maybe the luckiest people find the work that fulfills them and the will to pursue it...all the way to paradise.